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Television and radio programme reviews, trailers, highlights, twilights and cinema news. Also the neglected gems from years past.

Jeffrey Epstein: Prince Andrew on the BBC’s Newsnight looks like PR drivel

prince andrew central park epstein

Prince Andrew has been talking to the BBC about his friendship with the not-in-the-least-bit-murdered-convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The Duke of York thought it right to tell the BBC Newsnight’s show about how he did absolutely nothing wrong.

The official version of events has it that Epstein killed himself as he awaited sentencing for child-trafficking charges. Epstein, a minted pervert with friends in high places, could take it no more and ended it all. Some allege that he might have been helped along the way. But that, of course, is bunkum.

And if you want more myths, look also at Virginia Roberts (now Virginia Giuffre) who claims she was “forced to have sex with the duke three times between 1999 and 2002, in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein.” Andrew says this is untrue. At the time Virginia was under-age according to Florida state’s law. Andrew says he not have sex with that woman.

Also making claims against Andrew is one Johanna Sjoberg, who alleges that the duke touched her breast while they were hanging out at Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 2001. The duke says that too is untrue.

The BBC says its interview with the Prince at Buckingham Palace pulls no punches and leaves “no holds barred”. Really? You might suppose that if something new was revealed in the upcoming interview, the Beeb would have gone big with it. It hasn’t. The show is all. The content is meh. There is no news on the Newsnight scoop.

We might have some questions of our own. Did Andrew know the questions before sitting down with the Beeb’s journalist? Did the Palace’s PR machine not vet the interview for anything that could reflect badly on their precious client? Why the BBC and not another broadcaster? Why now? Why at the Palace and not in the studio?

But let us not be cynical. For those of you not au fait with the story, the BBC presents it thus:

In 2005, the parents of a 14-year-old girl told police in Florida that Epstein had molested their daughter at his Palm Beach home. Prosecutors forged a deal with Epstein in 2008, which saw him avoid federal charges. He instead received an 18-month prison sentence, during which he was able to go on “work release” to his office for 12 hours a day, six days a week. He was released on probation after 13 months.

In 2010, the duke was photographed walking with Epstein in New York’s central park – two years after the financier’s first conviction. Video footage, released by the Mail on Sunday, shows the duke inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion around the same time.

In a statement released by Buckingham Palace in August, the duke said he was “appalled” by the sex abuse claims surrounding his former friend.

The statement added: “His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”

Nothing to see here – well, apart form a Prince engaging in what could be mistaken for a televised PR stunt. Move on but only after you’ve given the late-night show’s audienec figures a boost…

Posted: 15th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Grange Hill can ‘save Britain’ from ‘the cult of Greta Thunberg’

grange hill

Zammo’s smack addition. Roland’s weight issues. Janet’s acting. Gripper’s audition for work at the tax office. Trisha’s fringe. Children’s telly show Grange Hill never shied from tackling the weighty issues of the day. Now the Daily Star want its return to ‘save Britain’ from knife crime and bullying.

The show’s creator, Phil Redmond, is quoted:

Asked if it would tackle knife attacks, trolling, sex grooming and homophobia, he told the Radio Times: “All of them, plus Extinction Rebellion and the cult of Greta Thunberg. But underscoring them would be the root causes – self-worth, bullying, loneliness, isolation. Now, though, they’d be illustrated through the pressures of social media.”

Sounds like a riot. And if it was on Netflix and came with a free voucher for depop, the cool kids would tune in for sure. Failing that the BBC show that went out with whimper will be back to confront the big issues just as soon as hell freezes over – which it won’t so because it’s burning like the rest of the plant (source: Thurberg. G) .

Posted: 12th, November 2019 | In: News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


Why Harry and Meghan don’t love us anymore

prince harry meghan
The official photo harry

We love Harry and Maghan, don’t we? You don’t turn out in the wind and rain to wave flags and cheer for just anyone. But the heir’s former spare and his wife have fallen out of love with us. We can’t do right by them. The couple outlined their issues with the plebs in ITV’s Harry and Meghan: An African JourneyThis was woe-is-me TV set against the backdrop of Africa, the go-to place for any jobbing celebs in need of a photogenic poverty backdrop.

Sure they arrived in Malawi by private jet, with platoons of staff, wardrobes of the finest schmutter, hand gels and more jewellery than a company of Namibian miners can stuff down his pants, but their location, the poor, dry Africa of Western made-for-TV audiences, is shorthand for “I feel”. If you want to look caring, a saviour in chinos, head to Africa with a film crew and crumble dust in your fingers. You can use your privilege to raise awareness for things most Africans might well care about less than you do (cheap protein; coal-fired power stations; the tabloid press; buying trees to purify private jet travel; editing Vogue; and inequality).

Away from the palaces, jets and celebrity mates, Harry and Meghan are just like the best of us. And if we were even half decent, we should ask Meghan if she is okay. If Meghan were an athlete, no end of BBC pundits and ex-pros would line up to ask her ‘How does it feel?’. But being a Duchess is tougher than running through the rain in Gateshead. And that’s not a snide comment. It’s true. There are less big game royals than there are champion British athletes (but not champion British tennis players, who are positively regal). And at that rarified level, life must be peculiar. Meghan is a new mum and a new wife living in a new country. We can all relate to her in parts. We can sympathise. One writer says Royals’ “freedom of choice about their lives is almost as constrained as a slave’s”.

It’s not them. It’s us. Maybe ITV can help? Maybe between the ads for discount supermarkets and debt, we can get to the heart of why Meghan is “existing not living”. Can posho news anchor Tom Bradby can tap a blue vein for emotion?

No worries. Tom delivered. He lowered his voice like a guest whispering at a Royal wedding (he’s been to many). ‘How do you feel?’ he asked? “Any woman when you’re pregnant you’re vulnerable,” says Meghan. “And thank you for asking, not a lot of people have asked if I’m OK.”

Why not? My hunch is it’s because most of don’t care. We’re not callous, just not bothered by what the nth in line to the throne and his misses get up to unless its gossipy or weird, preferably both. Meghan’s problem with us might be rooted in not who she married but what she married. They’re not the main event. We’d be happy to ignore them and let them get on with things – but what with all the court cases, photoshoots, TV shows and magazine work, they won’t let us…

Posted: 25th, October 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, TV & Radio | Comment


The Making of a Steinway Piano – A Steinway & Sons Factory Tour Narrated by John Steinway

Posted: 21st, August 2019 | In: The Consumer, TV & Radio | Comment


Mick Jagger dances to the theme from ‘On The Buses’ –

Mick Jagger dances to the theme from 'On The Buses'

Mick Jagger interprets the theme from ‘On The Buses’ – by @CuriousUkTelly:

Posted: 30th, July 2019 | In: Celebrities, Music, TV & Radio | Comment


‘Destination Moon’: The best timed TV shot ever

'Destination Moon': The best timed TV shot ever

In 1978, James Burke (born 22 December 1936) timed his piece to camera to perfection. The rocket was primed. Burke, presenter on the BBC’s Connections talked the viewers down:

Posted: 21st, July 2019 | In: Key Posts, Technology, TV & Radio | Comment


Whinefeld : The Seinfeld parody video game

Winefeld seinfeld

It’s 30 years since Seinfeld first aired. The show branded ‘too New York, too Jewish’ defied the critics and thrived. And it spawned this, Stay Tooned!, a 1996 computer game developed by Funnybone Interactive.

Wikipedia has more:

The player takes the place of an ordinary patron living in an apartment. The player starts off simply channel-surfing with a TV remote and watching short cartoons and commercials that parody real-life shows (such as Seinfeld, which is parodied as Whinefeld). One channel even has the game’s chief programmer providing hints on how to play the upcoming game. Several cartoon characters either forbid or encourage the player to push the red button on their remote as the player surfs the channels. When the player pushes the button, the cartoons break out of the television set, steal the remote, and cause the entire apartment complex to go into animated form. The player must recover the television remote, which is the only thing that can zap the escaped toons and send them back to TV Land, the fictional toon world found within the depths of the television.

Spotter: r/ObscureMedia

Posted: 11th, July 2019 | In: Key Posts, Technology, TV & Radio | Comment


John Rhys-Davies is Adam Ant on Question Time

John Rhys-Davies Adam Ant Question Time
John ‘Prince Charming’ Rhys-Davies

For those of you missed John Rhys-Davies’s performance on the BBC’s politics as circus show Question Time last night, here is the man himself channeling the great Adam Ant. Green MP Caroline Lucas is his audience of one:

Oh Woman, no Cry…. Oooooh Woman!!!!! no cry:

Note: John Rhys-Davies is (looks at web) an actor.

Posted: 26th, April 2019 | In: Key Posts, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


The Future of Netflix: Competition Does Not Sleep

158 million – the number of Netflix subscribers around the world, not counting all the passwords exchanged, shared accounts, and collective visions. Netflix is the home of global entertainment, not only of movies but of TV series as well. In the first quarter of 2019, Netflix scored positively in all aspects, especially considering the growing number of new customers. However, the outlook of this streaming service does not look quite so good, as we have to take into consideration the competition.

Competition is an important and tricky topic in any sector. Customers are always testing new platforms and new products, even if they have a favourite one. This is the case not only of streaming services, but also of online casinos where players test games with no deposit bonus codes, or of new music streaming platforms, such as Spotify & Co., where fans search for their favourite artists. 

The History of Netflix

Founded in 1997, Netflix’ main and original activity was the DVD and video game rental. People could book disks on the internet and receive them directly at home by mail. In 2000, Blockbuster, a leading company in the field of video rental stores, offered 50 million to buy Netflix, but the latter refused the offer and continued its own business path. 

Since 2008, Netflix has activated an online streaming service on demand, accessible by subscription. This is the beginning of the challenge between the two companies. The end of the story is known, with Blockbuster declaring bankruptcy in 2010, while Netflix continues to grow exponentially

Netflix: What now?

Netflix expects slower user growth after a strong start this year. The world’s leading online video service, which has made a name for itself with series successes such as “House of Cards” and movies like “Bird Box”, is facing a heightened competition. In addition to established rivals like Amazon or Hulu, Disney and Apple are pushing new adversaries into the booming market of Internet television. And even worse: In this critical phase, Netflix is raising prices – definitely a risky manoeuvre. But Chief Executive Reed Hastings is not afraid.

So far, there is no real reason for it. In the first quarter, Netflix had 9.6 million new subscriptions. Overall, Netflix had nearly 149 million paid memberships by the end of March 2019. However, the trend is now sinking, due also to the price increase announcements. This will noticeably slow down user growth in the current and next quarters.

For instance, Netflix announced 5 million new memberships in this current quarter, disappointing experts’ expectations. This was not a good thing for investors; for instance, the stock of the company went down. However, Netflix had a good run with a stock price increase of about 34 percent since the beginning of the year, so that the market reaction is – for now – not very meaningful. The profit of Netflix indeed climbed from 290 million to 344 million dollars in the first quarter of 2019. 

Netflix: New Competitors, Fewer Users?

Nevertheless, it can not be ignored that the market environment for Netflix should be more uncomfortable in the future. With Disney and Apple new rivals – also financially very strong – that will attack the streaming market leader, the situation will not be easy. Both the Mickey Mouse group from Hollywood and the iPhone giant from the Silicon Valley recently presented competing offers that leave no doubt about their big ambitions. In addition, also WarnerMedia attacks with its renowned pay-TV channel HBO  under the corporate roof of Telecom AT&T.

Netflix boss Hastings is clear about what is going on in his company but is combative. In his letter to shareholders, he described Apple and Disney as “world-class brands” against which Netflix would like to compete. Moreover, he does not expect the new counterparties to impact the growth of Netflix significantly. “We believe we’ll all continue to grow as we each invest more in content and improve our service and as consumers continue to migrate away from linear viewing,” said Hastings. The top manager had already emphasised in the past that the streaming market was big enough for several competitors.

The two-year period 2019-2020 will probably be important and decisive to define the future of the platform and in general of the use of home and personal entertainment. No one is a magician or a fortune teller, so predicting today what the impact of this increase in services will be complicated, if not impossible. The consumer is in danger of finding himself lost among so many proposals, with the difficulty of choosing what to subscribe to and for how long, trying to chase what will be the current fashion. Today is Netflix, tomorrow who knows.

Posted: 26th, April 2019 | In: Money, TV & Radio | Comment


Brexit: Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie predicted it all (video)

Brexit negotiations were written by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie:

Meanwhile… Jacob Rees-Mogg is on Newsnight:

PS: Anyone got any tapes of Alas Smith And Jones so we can know what Tusk and Junker talk about?

Posted: 1st, April 2019 | In: Key Posts, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


Comic Relief: David Lammy shamed whites into not giving

Comic RElief

Two stories about Comic Relief, the BBC’s tired telethon. What is about the BBC that shows are celebrated chiefly for their longevity? And those presenters who go on for eons – but at least Dr Who gets to regenerate his genitalia every couple of years. Maybe it’s about institutions needing other institutions to make the mob bow to their edifices of permanency and legacy? Or maybe it’s just laziness?

The first Comic Relief story is that some Tory MPs are angry (natch.) that the fundraiser dresses to the Left. The Mail on Sunday calls it an “AD FOR CORBYN”. In which case, hard cheese, Jezza, because the Sunday Times says Comic Relief raised £8m less than last year – £63m compared with £71.3m.

The blame for less cash is apparently rooted in Labour MP David Lammy citing tin rattlers for their “white saviour” complex. When the Beeb’s pro-celeb dance champion and journalist Stacey Dooley, 32, uploaded a photo of herself posing with a young African child in Uganda she captioned it “Obsessed!”, “as if she was plugging a new face cream, not holding an unhappy Ugandan child.” Lammy saw it and tweeted: “The world does not need any more white saviours.”

The Times notes today: “Others said they had decided not to donate this year because they did not want to be accused of acting like a “white saviour”.” Nice one, Dave. Middle-class whites with spare cash will spend it on something else. What does Jess Phillips spend her money on? Farrow & Ball paint, festival tickets and Waitrose, possibly.

So how can we redistribute the world’s wealth and keep narcissistic politicians and celebs happy? Fair trade coffee, au pairs, cocaine and Filipino maids are a start. But this is about giving and who gets to give freely. We don’t tick a box declaring our race when donating money to Comic Relief, but maybe we should. In the current climate of identity politics, the State can use the data to work out which sort of people give the least and which give the most. Much fairer that way, right?

Africa’s poor will be waiting.

Posted: 17th, March 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Money, News, TV & Radio | Comment


The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann: TV at its most pathetic

mccann maddie podcast

Netflix’s Madeleine McCann documentary was full of shocks and theories from experts in ‘Our Maddie’ Studies (OMS). So dire was the that the missing child’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, refused to take part. How can you fill an eight-part TV show if the people who knew the subject best won’t say anything new? Will eight hours of grainy footage, newspaper cuttings and speculation be enough to keep subscribers tuned in to a show without end?

The director wants “to take the viewer on the journey that the public went on”. This is what happens when you watch the X Factor too often: you realise a journey can lead nowhere.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann opted for timeline over insight. So we get Madeleine McCann jetting off on her hols; Madeleine McCann playing on her hols; Madeleine McCann going missing on her hols; get the full glossary of OMS terms – Cuddle Cat, Tapas 7, Arguido, Amaral – and then lots of ‘Our Maddie’, and how the British child became public property and a docu-drama on pay-for-view US telly.

The single thread story spun by a voracious media was all Netflix had and it wasn’t going to bother finding anything more.

If you know what happened to her, call the police. If you want to see a crime show, watch an Agatha Christie.

Posted: 15th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Michael Jackson: beat him and burn him but don’t miss the Wacko Jacko exhibition at The Tate

Michael Jackson fan Seany O'Kane displays a message of support
Michael Jackson fan Seany O’Kane displays a message of support

No-one’s dug Michael Jackson up and beaten the corpse with sticks. Nor have they set his remains alight – and given his latter-years’ waxy appearance, stuck a wick in his head and let him burn so that all the living can see what we do to dead stars accused of molesting children and getting away with it. For now we’ll have to make do with burning Wacko Jacko’s memorabilia, which is what anyone who tuned into HBO’s four-hour-long documentary Leaving Neverland saw as the closing credits rolled. Before we got to the burning pyre of branded Jackson merchandises, we heard the harrowing and credible testimonies of Wade Robson and James Safechuck. The two claim that they were abused as children by Michael Jackson.

But unless Jackson begins to speak and justice can grind and arrive at some incorruptible truth, facts are hard to ascertain, and people will take sides and turn hideous, grim alleged crimes into a shouting match.

All we have is a spark of light in the darkness that is soon extinguished, leaving us to flounder in search of its source. Maybe the next spark will alight on a new angle and flash us glimpses of different propositions, thing to stir our hunches and armchair investigations based on prejudice, righteousness, caprice and schadenfreude? After all, as Tim Black notes, “Robson was convincing and credible in 2005, when he took to the stand in defence of Jackson, over allegations of child molestation. And then he was not facing the sympathetic director of Leaving Neverland, Dan Reed, but fearsome prosecution attorney Tom Sneddon.” But that’s child abusers for you: they know their quarry are easily scared.

So what are you going to do with your Michael Jackson clobber and records? It’s not as if he sang about paedophilia and promoted it as a lifestyle choice. The music and videos were wildly entertaining. Can you ignore the man and delight in their product?

Last year, the Tate exhibited the work of English artist Edward Burne-Jones (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898). The brochure says he “brought imaginary worlds to life in awe-inspiring paintings, stained glass windows and tapestries”. You can see his work at the National Portrait Gallery. When not making worthy art, Eddie was busy being a virulent anti-Semite. His Jew hatred was “blatant and repulsive“. And what of Phil Spector? He murdered a woman. You can hear his records on the radio and buy the house where the crime took place.

Patience, Jackson diehards. Your hero will rise again. The smart investor will be buying up Jackson’s oeuvre and old tour jackets while prices plummet. One day they’ll put on a show at the Tate and that stuff will be worth a bomb.

Posted: 11th, March 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Biased BBC: John McDonnell is Fleabag on BBC News

John McDonnell BBC

More questions over the dreaded mainstream media’s treatment of Jeremy Corbyn and his comrades after last night’s BBC News at Ten used an image of shadow chancellor John McDonnell to trail a TV show called Fleabag during a segment on Brexit.

Fleabag is about an angry, confused young woman living in London. As anyone knows, John McDonnell as with Corbyn, is an angry and confused man living in London. Although Labour abhors gender labelling, so McDonnell might well be angry and confused woman living in London after all.

John McDonnell is 68.

Posted: 11th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


Stacey Dooley grandstanding for Comic Relief is celebrity colonialism for a good cause

Stacey Dooley
Stacey Dooley: putting Uganda on the map

Labour MP David Lammy says “the world does not need any more white saviours”. He’s taken offence at the picture Stacey Dooley posted on instagram (see above) of her trip to Uganda with BBC’s Comic Relief.

Think not of the grandstanding, but of the good causes it helps.

Amen.

Lammy says “the image she wants to promote is her as heroine and black child as victim”. When she told him he could always go there himself, he replied: “This isn’t personal and I don’t question your good motives.” Which is precisely the opposite of what he did.

Previously in celebrity colonialism:

Angelina Jolie

Previously at the Labour Party conference:

Fact: The West knows best.

Posted: 28th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


‘Jihadi’ Jack Letts misses his mum and wants to come home to the UK

Jack LEtts
Jack The Bad / Jack the Sad / Jack the Dad

White Briton, dad of one and Islam convert ‘Jihadi’ Jack Letts wants to leave the Kurdish prison he’s called home for the past two years and come home to the UK. In no particular order, he wants to see his mum, watch Dr Who and eat pasties.

Jack Letts is the the 23-year-old from Oxford accused of travelling to Syria to fight for Islamic State, the group that murders children in Manchester, rapes Christian women and chucks homosexuals from tall buildings. The YPG have charged him with being a member of ISIS.

Letts has been talking with ITV News:

“If the UK accepted me then I’d go back to the UK, it’s my home. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I miss people mostly. I miss my mum. I know that sounds a bit toddler-ish. Even if I could just see my mum – I would just like a phone call, I don’t know if Britain can do that for me here, but I’d like just a phone call to my mum – it’s been two years.”

If not the UK, then Letts can head to Canada – he holds a Canadian passport thanks to his father’s nationality.

Back home in Oxford, mum and dad, Sally Lane and John Letts, are to be tried for sending money to their son. They deny three charges of funding terrorism. They insist their boy went to Syria to help refugees. On the FreeJackLetts blog, they write:

“…we too dream of the day when we will see him again, wrap our arms around him, and convince him that – despite his claim that ‘the world hates me without even knowing me’ – he will again be treated like a human being and not like the media-created monster he has been made out to be.”

Letts’ chat comes as the UK media form a queue to speak with Shamima Begum, the Briton who joined ISIS and has had her British citizenship revoked. You wonder who’s next in the hot seat? Do foreign journalists interview their fellow nationals held in UK prisons? And does it help to get your story widely known before any court case?

Human rights champion Nadia Murad was sold into sexual slavery by ISIS. She escaped, seeking and gayning asylum in Germany in 2015. She wants justice for Yazidi men and women. Upon becoming a Nobel laureate, she said:

“We must work together with determination — so that genocidal campaigns will not only fail, but lead to accountability for the perpetrators. Survivors deserve justice. And a safe and secure pathway home.”

Isn’t it time we heard more from the victims?

Posted: 22nd, February 2019 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


Gemma Collins seeks spiritual advice from Kerry Katona

kerryt katona

Who better for Gemma Collins to turn to for spiritual advice than Kerry Katona, former Queen of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity jungle and long billed in the tabloid press as “troubled”? Kerry is the women who had her cosmetic surgery televised and was once so hard up, she was forced to sell her parrot to buy Tampax.

Collins, 38, currently between injuries in ITV’s Dancing On Ice is “seeking help from crystal-loving Kerry Katona”. That’s an unfortunate or conniving play on words by the Mail, given Kerry’s battles with drugs – and crystal is a shorthand for crystal meth. The People reminds readers that Katona is an “ex-addict” whose nadir – or at least one of them – was being filmed taking coke a caper that led to her getting sacked by Iceland (the frozen food store and not the nation). In any case, Collins wants help calming down not speeding up. A source arrives to explain all:

“It sounds a bit woo and wacky, but Kerry’s obsessed with meditating and yoga and it’s helped her so much with her stress and anxiety. Kerry has been choosing crystals she thinks will help Gemma cope with the pressures of Dancing on Ice and all the diva accusations she’s had.”

Anorak advices Collins choose the homophonous Krsytle Carrington, who was always ice cool in a crisis, save for when Alexis pushed her too far and she resorted to fisticuffs.

PS: Cynics will point out that Katona and Collins have have the same agent. This in no way diminishes from the truth of this story.

Posted: 10th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


Love Island winner Jack Fincham: being famous gets you drugs and booze

Jack Fincham, winner of TV’s Love Island, and Mr Dani Dayer, wants to talk about “My coke shame”. But before the shame, the sympathetic back story. The Sun, which leads with the news of Fincham’s drug taking, tells us he “caved in” to the “temptation” of “regularly being offered drugs in the wake of his TV triumph”. Other reality TV shows offer less mind-blowing prizes. But that’s showbiz.

Jack, 27, tells us: “I’ve made a terrible error.” And ..? Well, why are you telling us, Jack? Are you getting in first before an expose hits the papers? Is the Sun now an extension of the therapy industries – “If you want a sympathetic ear and a chance to talk, call 0800 Snort ‘n’ Tell (You’re amongst friends!”)?

There are two more pages of Fincham to browse. And we note that he’s “dreading telling hardman Danny Dyer about his cocaine shame”. Danny is, of course, Dani’s homophonous dad, the EastEnders actor.

But surely Danny will understand how “dangerous elements of the showbiz scenes” can pull young noses towards an incidental table in an Kent hotel. Says Jack: “Since winning the show I’ve been offered cocaine a lot”, plus “free drinks” and a chance to appear in another reality TV show. Yes, that’s right, Jack’s shame trails the TV show The Full Monty, named in honour of the film in which a group of down-on-their-luck men from the impoverished provinces turn to the skin trade to earn a few quid and fame. Showbiz, eh. The top prize used to be car.

Posted: 5th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


Bros find success in failure – 1980s band enjoy fame after documentary ridicule

 Bros: After The Screaming Stops

The answer to the stuttering refrain “When will I, will I be famous?” was simple: when you’re shaggable, have pop star hair and write a catchy tune the promoters love. Now Bros, who asked the question in 1987, have triggered a new answer to it: when nostalgia bites and you become the nation’s pet thickos. And so it is that after a documentary brought them to back to the fore, Surrey-born Matt and Luke Goss – the other part of the original Bros band, Craig Logan, is busy – have announced they will be performing a comeback show in London.

For those of you missed the Decembeer 2017 BBC documentary Bros: After The Screaming Stops, here are a few choice cuts:

Bros quotes funny
Bros documentary quotes funny
Bros documentary quotes funny

The lovely irony is that the documentary followed twins Matt and Luke as they reunited ahead of their ill-fated 2017 tour. Showing us failure has resulted in success.

And you too can be famous – just as soon as “you’ve read Karl Marx
/ And you’ve taught yourself to dance.”

Posted: 14th, January 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Music, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Jeremy Corbyn completes his EastEnders audition

Jeremy Corbyn shirty Marr

Jeremy Corbyn is on Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning politics show. If body language matters – and surely it does – the Labour leader’s habit of tilting his head and looking up does him few favours.

In 2008, actor Chris Coghill was hired to play Tony King on EastEnders. His character would become one of the most reviled in the history of British soap operas. How did he manage to look shifty and disingenuous. Coghill explained: “I’ve always been able to turn on the sinister look. Sid Owen said to me that all I had to do was tilt my head down and look up and it’s there.”

Jeremy Corbyn says vote for him and he’ll let you know what his Brexit plans are.

Posted: 13th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


Bob Einstein tells a funny and a revolting joke

Bob Einstein has died aged 76. Best known for playing Marty Funkhouser in Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Einstein is seen here telling a joke at a show Q&A.

 

 

And this – which is “revolting” and is very NSFW:

 

Here he is pulling over Liberace for playing too fast. Einstein is Officer Judy, the character who made his debut by lip-syncing to a Judy Collins record.

 

 

And not forgetting Super Dave:

 

 

Bob Einstein – November 20, 1942 – January 2, 2019.

Posted: 7th, January 2019 | In: Celebrities, News, TV & Radio | Comment


The Marion Stokes Archive: 33 years of 24-hour live news TV

marion stokes

 

In 1979 Marion Stokes flipped the record button on her VCR and began recording live television. She continued to record live telly for over 33 years. She only stopped when she died. Matt Wolf wants to show us more of the Stokes Archive:

Marion Stokes was secretly recording television twenty-four hours a day for thirty years. It started in 1979 with the Iranian Hostage Crisis at the dawn of the twenty-four hour news cycle. It ended on December 14, 2012 while the Sandy Hook massacre played on television as Marion passed away. In between, Marion recorded on 70,000 VHS tapes, capturing revolutions, lies, wars, triumphs, catastrophes, bloopers, talk shows, and commercials that tell us who we were, and show how television shaped the world of today.

The whole shebang is being hosted by The Internet Archive but we can’t find any. But this Tumblr has a few stills from the Stokes tapes. 

Spotter: Kottke and Flashbak

Posted: 5th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, TV & Radio | Comment


The Inbetweeners are back for a 10th anniversary special

the inbetweeners

 

After the yellow Fiat Cinquecento – The Yellow Peril – sank in 2010, The Inbetweeners headed off for films in Magaluf and Australia. But now the car and the foursome are back in suburbia for a tenth anniversary, two-hour TV special. Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas are back. Let’s hope none of them are ill, and nothing’s deeper than Jay’s box of bedside tissues. At what point does teenage humiliation turn into something darker and more depressing?

 

Posted: 10th, December 2018 | In: TV & Radio | Comment


Whistle along to this clip of brilliant British TV from 1972

Here’s a lovely dash of Brilliant British TV from 1972. It’s Blue Peter. John Noakes is on the turntables. And a wonderful whistler is knocking them bandy:

 

Posted: 5th, December 2018 | In: TV & Radio | Comment


Deke Duncan: DJ who broadcast to an audience of one gets BBC radio show

deke duncan stevenage

 

“I genuinely thought this was a well-crafted parody, something that the likes of @serafinowicz & @robertpopper would conjure up, but no…it’s 100% genuine – All hail Deke Duncan from Stevenage,” tweets John Morter. A video from the BBC archives takes us back to 1974. We meet Deke Duncan, the producer, presenter and pretty much most other things at Stevenage’s Radio 77 his wife Teresa can’t or won’t do. With no licence, Radio 77, based in a shed at 57 Gonville Crescent in Stevenage, can only be beamed through a speaker in his living room, where Teresa listens. It might be the most romantic thing ever. 

 

 

This week, Deke Duncan, now 73, was invited to present a show on BBC local radio. He fulfilled his “ultimate ambition” to broadcast to the rest of Stevenage.

“We used to record all the shows and play them back and think – that’s cool – but we couldn’t afford to keep buying spools of tape so recorded over them,” he said. “That house was our ship. We took the fantasy so far we said we must not go out the front or back door because you’ll fall in the sea.” The nautical theme followed his love of pirate station Radio Caroline, which broadcast from a boat off the coast of Essex in the 1960s.

Mr Duncan, who has since moved to Stockport, Greater Manchester, still broadcasts Radio 77 to “the smallest audience in the country” – his wife.

He said he felt “emotional” when station editor Laura Moss invited him to present his own one-hour special over Christmas.

 

 

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 21st, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, TV & Radio | Comment